This is Stick Child.
Stick Child is just nine years old. Awww.
Stick Child wants to understand about targets, so he plays a game…
Stick Child likes paper planes, so he sets himself a target of making one in 60 seconds. How did he get this number? Well, he invented it in his head because it sounds nice. This is also how grown-ups decide targets.
Now, poor little Stick Child tried his hardest, but he just couldn’t make a paper plane in less than 85 seconds. This made him very sad.
When his Grandma asked him if he had been able to make one in less than 60 seconds, he did a naughty thing and told her that he had managed to do it, even though this wasn’t true. Afterwards, Stick Child realised this wasn’t the right thing to do and felt bad.
Later on, Stick Child’s Daddy asked him why he looked so sad. Stick Child said he felt sad because he hadn’t told the truth to Grandma and he was very sorry. Daddy sat Stick Child on his knee and explained that numerical targets often cause this type of dysfunctional behaviour, but that it didn’t necessarily mean he was a bad kid. Then he gave him a cuddle.
Better still, Stick Child’s Daddy showed him how to fold paper quickly to make really good paper planes that fly well. He also showed him lots of designs in a book, which meant that Stick Child could learn how to make lots and lots of really good paper planes.
Stick Child practiced making paper planes and he became very good at it. He found that he was able to make some planes in as little as 25 seconds; others took longer, because they were a bit more complicated, but that didn’t matter because they were really good planes.
This made Stick Child very happy. He was able to show his Grandma his planes and this made her happy too. Stick Child’s Daddy told him that although his 60 second target sounded nice, it didn’t actually help him make paper planes any better or quicker because targets do not provide a method.
Now Stick Child knows the way to become good at something is to learn about that thing, find a way to do the thing really well, and always do your best. He also learnt that targets make people do naughty things, even when they aren’t bad people.
If Stick Child can understand this, so can you.